Sunday, February 15, 2009

Mr. Sensitivity

Kyle, Kendall, and I read like fiends. Mr.4444 has read maybe one book in his lifetime (Moby Dick), which is odd, because he's truly one of the smartest men I know (I guess it must all come from TV.) Last year, his New Year's resolution was to read one book. I searched high and low and settled on The Five People You Meet in Heaven, but he only made it through a chapter or two. For his birthday in October, I bought him A Fine and Pleasant Misery, by humorist Patrick F. McManus, as I had heard it was hilarious. He hasn't cracked the cover open. So, we tease Mr.4444 about his non-book reading (and he goes along with it; it's kind of a family joke.)

I've long since stopped fantasizing of reading a great book together and philosophizing about it later, but I haven't given up. If I happen to be reading a good book, I try to entice him by reading parts to him when we're in the car (he's driving, a captive audience, of course.) Just today, I started reading The Shack, which is so far a sad story, but compelling. William Paul Young is a wonderful writer, and I start gushing about it. Already on page eight, he writes this beautiful simile, so I share it with Mr.4444:

"Mack never talks much about him, but when he does, his face loses emotion like a tide going out, leaving dark and lifeless eyes."

I say, "Isn't that beautiful?" Mr.4444's response: "You mean all the dead fish and the clams?" (Of course, he says this with a twinkle in his eye.)

Undaunted, a few minutes later, I share this metaphor from page 12:

"It was even difficult to enter a conversation that might tear the scab off his wounded heart."

"Isn't that awesome?" I gush. Mr.4444 replies, "It's kind of gross."

Kendall is in the back seat. As I'm just finishing the Foreward, I say to her, "I always wonder if anything in the foreward of a fiction story is true. Don't you?"

Before she can reply, Mr.4444 quips wryly, "That question has been haunting me my entire life!"

Maybe Uncle John's Bathroom Reader is going to be the extent of his literary exposure...

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